Add a Drainage System to Your Fishing Rod Holders

Rod-holder drain keep water from collecting inside gunwales.

Rod-holder drains prevent water from collecting in the gunwales.Jim Hendricks / Sport Fishing

On some older saltwater fishing boats with enclosed inwales, gunwale rod holders can allow water to enter these cavities. Water can collect, soak into the foam flotation, add unnecessary weight, and promote the growth of mold and mildew. Some rod holders feature caps that seal the holder tube from above, but a better solution is installing a drain at the bottom. This eliminates the need to cap off the rod holder, while still preventing spray and wash water to collect within the inwale. Newer rod holders offer hose fittings at the bottom for just this purpose. Great Lakes Skipper offers hose fittings that attach to an existing rod holder, as well as drain fittings that press-fit into a blind bulkhead. You just add some tubing between the two.